Double-Balloon Enteroscopy in Detecting Small-Bowel Neuroendocrine Neoplasms: A Single-Center Prospective Study

Roberta Elisa Rossi, Luca Elli, Federica Branchi, Dario Conte, Sara Massironi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background and Aim: Small-bowel neuroendocrine neoplasm (sbNEN) diagnosis has improved with double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE). DBE efficacy in the detection of sbNENs is unknown. We aimed to report the experience at a single referral center for NENs. Methods: All consecutive patients with a suspected sbNEN selected for diagnostic DBE were enrolled. Results: Between 2011 and 2016, 25 patients were referred for a suspected sbNEN. In 15/25 patients, a primary NEN was detected outside the small bowel; in 4, NEN was excluded. After extensive workup, 6 patients (4 males, median age 50 years) underwent DBE (3 anterograde, 2 retrograde, and 1 both; median time: 60 min; median insertion 200 cm). DBE was positive in 3 patients: One had an ileal 2-cm NEN G1, one had an ileal 1.3-cm NEN G1, and one had an ileal 1-cm NEN G2, all surgically removed. Of the 3 other patients, one had a metastatic NEN of unknown primary, the other two had small intestinal NENs, both surgically removed (1.6-cm G1 and G2 NEN). DBE showed a sensitivity of 60% and, in absence of false-positive results, a specificity of 100%. Accuracy resulted 67%. No complications were observed. Conclusions: In line with data from the literature, the present series showed that DBE is a safe and effective procedure in the diagnosis of sbNENs. Further studies are needed to better clarify the diagnostic role of DBE in the neuroendocrine tumor setting and its relationship with other techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-730
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Double-balloon enteroscopy
  • Enteroscopy
  • Neuroendocrine neoplasms
  • Small bowel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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